Those of you that have dogs as pets will know how sweet puppy breath becomes a biological weapon seemingly overnight. You go from kissing your puppy on the nose to “ugh what did you eat!”
Well those clever people from Hill’s have made a food for your dog and cat (can’t forget them) that acts as a sort of toothbrush to help clean your pets teeth of plaque and tartar.
‘Mind your pet’s mouth for total health’, is the message for national Hill’s Pet Dental Month this September, encouraging owners to be proactive about their pet’s oral health and prevent dental disease.
Dental disease is extremely common. It is far more serious than many people know; as well as causing bad breath, bleeding gums, tooth loss and pain, dental disease can be potentially life-threatening. “Bacteria and toxins in an infected mouth can enter the bloodstream, affecting vital organs and causing serious illnesses including heart and kidney disease,” explains Dr Guy Fyvie, veterinary advisor for Hill’s Pet Nutrition.
Problems usually start with a build-up of sticky plaque that hardens to form tartar. This can lead to gingivitis - a swelling, redness and inflammation of the gums. If not treated, periodontal disease can develop, destroying gums and tissue that support the teeth.
Dental disease is preventable and you may be helping prevent far more than just cavities. Dr Fyvie suggests five simple steps to keep your pet’s mouth healthy:
1. Take your pet to the vet for a dental check at least once a year, or whenever you notice any symptoms, such as bad breath, bleeding gums, discoloured teeth or drooling.
2. Regular tooth brushing to remove plaque is recommended as the ‘gold standard’ of pet dental care. Use a pet toothpaste and soft brush. Brushing is not always easy to accomplish, particularly in older pets, so it is best to start regular tooth cleaning from a young age.
3. Feed a food clinically proven to help clean your pet’s teeth as it eats; Hill’s Science Plan Oral Care and Hill’s Prescription Diet® t/d are the only complete foods in South Africa that have been awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance for plaque and tartar control. The kibbles have a patented fibre matrix that works like an edible toothbrush as your pet eats, gently scrubbing the exposed tooth and cleaning away plaque, thus avoiding tartar build-up.
4. Avoid sticky sweets, treats or tidbits which can lead to a more rapid build-up of plaque.
5. Use tooth-friendly toys and chews – bones and even hard plastic Frisbees can damage teeth.
For further expert advice speak to your vet or visit www.hillspet.co.za.
Hill’s Science Plan Oral Care is a complete food that offers daily dental protection, combining great nutrition, high quality ingredients and a kibble that is clinically proven to help reduce plaque and tartar.
Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d is therapeutic food, prescribed by veterinarians for cats and dogs that are at risk of dental disease or under-going dental treatment. It is suitable for long-term feeding and clinically proven to help reduce the build-up of tartar, plaque and stain. Available exclusively from veterinary practices.
Please Note : Should your pet be showing symptoms of dental disease it is best to go for a check-up; a professional scale and polish or other treatment may be needed.